A wall in Belfast - Public domain

Bloody Friday (1972)

A wall in Belfast - Public domain

Bloody Friday (July 21, 1972) refers to a series of bomb attacks allegedly carried out by the IRA on July 21, 1972, in response to the Bloody Sunday tragedy that took place on January 30, 1972, when the British Army opened fire on a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. As a revenge, the IRA would then have planned a series of attacks around Belfast and would have named this operation “Bloody Friday”.

History of Bloody Friday

The IRA Action Plan: 22 bombs scattered around Belfast

More 6 months after the Bloody Sunday murder scandal, the IRA decides to retaliate by planting more than 22 bombs around Belfast. The objective was to plunge the British occupation troops into terror, and thus avenge the victims of Bloody Sunday.

However, the IRA reportedly warned the British troops 30 minutes before the explosions through the local media. According to the IRA, the British would have taken only partial heed of these warnings, as they were disrupted by a succession of false alarms and were too absorbed by the idea of evacuating the inhabitants to areas considered safer (which in truth were not).

The Balance Sheet

Following the explosion of the 22 bombs, the toll was irrevocable: more than 9 people were killed and more than 130 wounded. The victims came from all sides, including both Protestants and Catholics.

In the aftermath of Bloody Friday, the people of Northern Ireland violently criticized the IRA’s actions, accusing the organization of having provoked the deaths of honest Irish Catholics, whereas the action was supposed to target only English Protestants.

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